If you teach small stars or high flyers sometimes the kids can be loud or hyper. It can be like this at the start of the class or after a game you played. It can be one kid or the whole class. Sometimes you want to shout at them but you know you can’t. You know you should try some other tactic but you’re now getting stressed and feeling angry. What do you do?
Have a whistle
It’s a loud noise that will get there attention quickly. You can quickly reset (get ready) and begin again. The kids might get a scare but they also think it’s funny too. Keep the whistle around your neck or on your lanyard so they see it at all times.
Bring up the reward chart.
I use stars in my class, 3 stars mean 1 sticker (sometimes sweets if i’m in a good mood) and my kids really want to get lots of stars so they can get lots of stickers. I keep the star chart on the board when I’m doing anything with them as a reminder. Sometimes just pointing to it and reminding them, “3 stars 1 sticker, look, no stars. No sticker” is enough to get them to calm down.
Jump on the spot.
As weird as it sounds sometimes you need to get them active to calm them down. These kids might have been sitting for a long time in your class and beginning to feel agitated so they shout or talk or move. If this happens, get them up and jump on the spot or run in a circle or something. It’ll provide a small break for them and it’s fun too. Then you can sit them back down and reset yourself.
Have a lesson plan in the classroom.
This should go without saying really. Having a well prepared lesson plan in the classroom means if something goes wrong or the students don’t like something you can glance at it and move on. It keeps you from worrying or improvising the next activity, making you feel in control and helps the students feels relaxed. It gives you confidence and a back up plan too.
Tell them what you want.
Using “I want” phrases that are attached to a reward will get their attention.Sometimes when you’re fed up with a kid not sitting down you find yourself parroting, “jack, sit down. jack, sit down. jack, sit down. jack, sit down. jack, sit down.” And getting angrier every time. Instead try saying “Jack, I really want you to sit down.” If he does, give him a star. I usually get loud and praise the kid for sitting down, I give them a star and a high five and a huge smile to let them know they did something great. I never take away stars, only give them out. Doing this will help other students catch on.
Let’s face it. We’re all human and sometimes we’re having a bad day and want to scream at the next bad thing we come across but this will not help your kids. Staying calm can be hard to do sometimes but it can be done and makes the class feel easier and no one feels awkward.